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I was wondering if a guitar neck rest like the rock-n-roller from StewMac, or the kind that Dave from Dave's world of fun stuff is necessary for luthier work.  Is it? will the neck become warped or something if you don't use it when laying the guitar on its back?

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I think they're very convenient, not only for providing a cushion for the neck but to take stress off the headstock while the guitar's prone.  

Additionally (in my case) there's way too much 'stuff' on the workbench so it's a nice way to give a degree of elevation over the clutter :)

i have issues with clutter on the bench too :D

my solution is a nice leather gun-rest thing for the neck, then a two-foot long piece of wood maybe 1x3" with thick leather-covered padding on it to rest the body on, that way the guitar never has to actually touch the benchtop itself.

Please can we not even mention Dave's World of Fun on this forum ? ... yeeeuch ...

Now go and wash your mouth out with soap and water  ....

Having something to rest the neck on with the guitar flat on the table is needed most of the time. But you can do very well with a scrap piece of soft wood and a soft towel or cork between the neck and the wood. A cut off piece of a neck caul and some scrap wood under it works great, I use that. I have not bought the Rock-n-Roller neck rest, looks a bit too big and clumsy for me. Besides, I don't like to have the whole weight of the guitar resting on the neck and the body edge at the end block. I like to have the guitar flat on it's back or pivoting over the edge of the body at the neck block with a matching height neck support.

I was always worried that if the neck and headstock hung there in mid-air, it would place unnecessary stress on the joint where the neck meets the body.  But in some videos, I think even at StewMac, they do the reverse where they elevate the neck so it is higher than the body.  Doesn't this put stress on the neck/body join in the opposite direction?  I would think that the support would have to keep the neck/headstock perfectly level as not to stress any part of the neck/body.

anyone ever try this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwPEZQYSl28

I've been using  yoga foam blocks for years. Just band saw out any neck shape you want on the edges.

I greatly prefer a fixed and sturdy vice such as a leg vice so that when I am beating the hell out of the guitar it can't get away.....

Seriously from using a scraper to filing to simply drilling a hole to mount a strap button having the work piece mobilized is safer for ALL..... concerned.

When removing a bridge we also don't want the thing squirming around trying to resist the pallet knives.....  It's like operating on someone without anesthetic....:)

BTW my Luthier insurance covers if I knock the instrument off my bench but who wants to test this out.... not me.

Should read immobilized.....  

I can't imagine trying to remove a bridge without having the guitar clamped in a vice. A vice and the appropriately shaped padded cauls will enable you do do crack repairs, finish touchups, etc. with the guitar locked in a number of different positions. Without the vice, certain repairs can indeed be awkward, to the point of compromising safety and quality of workmanship. 

For general maintenance and setups, a neck rest is adequate. It would be awkward to work on a guitar without some sort of support.

At one of the luthier conventions, Dan Erlewine introduced me as a guy who works on instruments without a neck rest.

I hadn't thought about it, but he's pretty much right.  Fact is, I work on lots of "non-guitars" that aren't easily supported so I reckon I've gotten used to wrestling stuff around on the bench.  I do have one of those "bunny ear" rifle rests from LMI, but I hardly ever use it.  My favorite is a plain redwood 4x4 with two layers of leather wrapped around it - I use it to support necks when I'm tapping in frets, but that's about it.

I'm far more likely to clamp the end of a peghead or the shaft of the neck in my Versa Vise to hold things if I'm in need of assistance.  Otherwise, for most jobs such as bridge removal, I like to have the ability to swivel the instrument around to get at all sides, unimpeded by a neck support.

Jim, a neck rest can't take the place of a vice, but there are operations I find easier on a rest. It's about bio-mechanics. Many instruments swivel around on the upper bout without the neck supported and if the tuners are down on the bench, I can't easily get a power winder on them.

A neck or body just hanging in the air or sitting on a rest I  think is under even less strain than when it's being played.

I've had ,a Stew Mac rest before and it always felt un-stable to me. I also never liked having a wood block on the bench for a neck to clunk into. Try a yogo block! There is probably some for sale at your local health food store.

it's not about the neck "warping" or anything like that, the stress from the strings far outstrips any minor sideways pressure from the weight of the guitar (same with hanging the thing by the headstock, no big deal there either).

a rest just makes it easier to work on, it clears the headstock so you can get to the tuners. i like those leather sand-filled gun rest things, totally stable and no hard surfaces to ding something.

(david farmer's blue yoga foam block is pretty cool though)

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